Posts Tagged: ‘Kingcade and Garcia’

Step-by-Step Guide to Surviving the Equifax Data Breach

September 18, 2017 Posted by kingcade

One of the largest data breaches in history has compromised the personal data of 143 million people. Equifax, a major credit bureau, lost control of customer data that included social security numbers, home addresses, credit card numbers, drivers’ license numbers and date of births.  The company estimates roughly half of the U.S. population has been affected by the breach, and this sensitive data could have been exposed to hackers.

Equifax will not specifically tell you if you are a victim, but we have a guide for you and a quick recap of what you may have missed post Hurricane Irma.

The data breach could have started as early as May 2017, which means the data could have been exposed for more than three months.  It is unclear what the hackers may have done with the data during those months.

Here is what you can do to protect yourself:

Check your credit reports. When looking through your reports, keep an eye out for any new accounts you did not open, late payments on debts you do not recognize and any other suspicious activity.  You are guaranteed a free annual credit report from the three major bureaus.  Click HERE to download your free credit report.  You will not be held responsible for charges made on a fraudulent credit card.  However, this must be reported in a timely manner.

Freeze your credit. Even if your credit comes back clean it is still early and one of the most reliable ways to prevent someone from opening up credit cards in your name is to place what is called a “credit freeze.”   You can contact each of the three credit bureaus by calling:

Set up a fraud alert.  When you set up a fraud alert, credit card companies will be required to verify your identity before opening an account. To activate a fraud alert, contact just one of the credit card bureaus and ask for an initial fraud alert. When the alert is set, it will be in effect for 90 days.

Be mindful of tax season.  Identity thieves can use stolen social security numbers to file fraudulent tax returns and receive refunds.  Many victims find out they are a victim of tax fraud after the IRS tells them their taxes have already been filed.  One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to file early.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/your-guide-to-surviving-equifax-data-breach/

What Debt Collectors Can and Cannot Do

September 7, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) limits the tactics that debt collectors can take to collect on a debt.  Here are 10 things debt collectors can and cannot do.

5 Things Debt Collectors Cannot Do:

  1. Come to your place of work. It is illegal for a debt collector to come to your workplace to collect on a debt. The FDCPA prohibits a debt collector publicizing your debts and showing up at your place of work to collect on a debt.
  2. Harass you. Harassment can come in a variety of forms and include: repeated phone calls, threats of violence, publishing information about you, abusive or obscene language.
  3. Arrest you for debt. You cannot be arrested for a debt you owe.
  4. Purse you for a debt you do not owe. Incomplete or inaccurate documentation can lead to a debt collector pursuing the wrong person for payment.  The issue is not uncommon, but it is illegal.
  5. Call you at any time. It is illegal for debt collectors to call you before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. You can request that a debt collector stop calling you, but your obligation to pay still remains.

 

5 Things Debt Collectors Can Do:

  1. Seek payment on an expired debt. Even debts that expired according to the statute of limitations can still be requested from debt collectors.  These unsecured debts can include credit cards and medical bills.  Remember: You cannot be sued for payment on these expired debts.
  2. Pressure you. While debt collectors cannot threaten you, they can apply pressure to collect payment.  Pressure can include daily calls, frequent letters or talk about pursuing a lawsuit for payment.
  3. Sue you for payment on a debt. A debt collector can sue you for non-payment. These type lawsuits can result in wage garnishment, bank levies or both.  It is best to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before you are sued or there is a judgment entered against you in regard to an outstanding debt.
  4. Sell your debt. A collector can resell debt it has not been able to collect on. So if one debt collector stops contacting you about a debt, do not be surprised if another starts.
  5. Negotiate what you owe. Because debt collectors buy debts for sometimes pennies on the dollar, they have fairly large profit margins if they collect the original amount owed. This gives them more flexibility in negotiating payment. You may be able to negotiate a settlement for 25% or 30% of what you originally owed.  Remember, to get the agreement in writing so you have proof that the amount paid was all that was required in the settlement.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/things-debt-collectors-cannot-do/

 

Regulators able to get $192 million in Student Loan Debt Settlement from Aequitas

September 5, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Aequitas Capital executives believed they had purchased a gold mine when they began buying student loans from Corinthian Colleges- instead, the debt proved to be the company’s downfall.  Following the for-profit college’s decent into bankruptcy and liquidation; Aequitas also collapsed amid accusations the company’s top execs were running a Ponzi scheme.

However, Aequitas continued to collect payments on the debt- until now. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and several state attorneys general and the Aequitas receiver reached a deal in which about 41,000 former Corinthian students whose debt is held by Aequitas could get more than half- possibly all, of their debt eliminated.

In July 2015, Aequitas became a key ally and vital source of liquidity for Corinthian by buying massive amounts of student debt. By helping finance Corinthian’s in-house private loans, Aequitas enabled Corinthian to access billions in student loan money from the U.S. government.

The bureau recently filed a lawsuit against Aequitas as part of the settlement. It claims Aequitas employees privately expressed anxiety about the huge percentage of Corinthian students who were failing to make their loan payments. “With defaults this high, how can we defend our practices,” the unidentified employee wrote in a 2011 note.

Click here to read more on this story.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Foreclosures Drop to Lowest Level in More than 10 Years

September 4, 2017 Posted by kingcade

There were fewer loans in the month of July than any month in more than 10 years, according to a new report from Black Knight Financial Services.  There were 398,000 properties in foreclosure pre-sale in July, which is down 12,000 from June and down more than 150,000 from the same time period last year, a decline of 28%.

The month of July also marked the first time that the number of loans in foreclosure was below 400,000 since February 2007.  While foreclosures are down, loans in delinquency increased slightly month-over-month in July, but 2017’s total is still below last year’s numbers.

The number of properties that are 90 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure was 555,000 in July, which is still 140,000 lower than last year.

Black Knight’s report shows that there were 2.38 million properties that are 30 or more days past due or in foreclosure in July, which is up 42,000 from June, but down 452,000 from the previous year.

Click here to read more on this story.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Credit Card Debt a Growing Concern for College Students

August 30, 2017 Posted by kingcade

A recent study conducted by Nellie Mae, the nation’s leading student finance firm, revealed that the average undergraduate carries a credit card balance of $2,169.  According to the study, many students use their credit cards without knowing how the bills will even be paid off.  It also showed that many students used credit cards to pay for tuition and books, instead of federal student loans that offer lower interest rates.

Four out of five college students amass nearly $1,000 a year in credit card debt.  One cause of credit card debt is college students’ difficulty in adjusting to their newfound financial freedom.  Parents and students need to come up with a budget for credit card spending before their child leaves for college.  Make sure your college student knows not to use money they do not have, even for a one-time purchase.

Use resources available to keep them on the right path.  You and your college student should sign-up for overdraft alerts on all accounts. Online alerts and apps on your Smartphone can help with this.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

https://www.fastweb.com/personal-finance/articles/dealing-with-credit-card-debt

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Credit-card-debt-a-mounting-concern-for-college-students-441338263.html